26 October 2016

Makati residents KLTRD and Daily Grind team up for a Capsule Collection

One is a well-known brand worn by many skaters, musicians, and the likes.  The other is a younger apparel label that has been valiantly organizing skate, fixed gear, and music events in Makati these past couple of years. And this time, these two, Daily Grind and KLTRD team up to fortify their city with the "From The Ground Up" capsule collection. They started with a shirt immortalizing and taking a flip on the Makati City arch formerly located in South Superhighway. They also came up with a tee showing the text logos of both brands. Skateboarding and fixie bikes were also represented, along with other co-branding imagery of the two outfits. KLTRD and Daily Grind are set to release their output on October 29, Saturday at Suez & Zapote, Makati. Visit our Events page to know more about the launch, and scroll down for other details along with the video and photo lookbook.

Local Tunes Round Up: Ankhten Brown, Alex Omiunu, Gabby Alipe, Grows, Manila Magic, Clara Benin, and Munrö

Another week, another time to bless your ears with the newest local tunes under our radar. Whatever your trip is for the long Halloween weekend up ahead, we believe we found the grooves perfect for any mood. This week, we've got a party shindig based on a cult classic, a former band frontman on his first solo venture, a trio that creates harmony out of chaos, a soulful bare-bones approach rendition that tugs at the heart strings, a duo with '80's sensibilities, and a songstress that captivates with her ethereal stylistic tune.

Ankhten Brown x Alex Omiunu - Catch Em All (Pokemon Go)

Be warned, the first forty seconds of the track will hypnotize you with repeated chants of Pokemon Go. Come to think of it, a good chunk of Ankhten Brown and Alex Omiunu's psychedelic musical masterpiece is all about the Pokemon Go. Pokemon. Pokemon. Pokemon. Pokemon Go (yes, we just sang that in our heads). The popular game may have lost a bit of its steam since its release, but no one can deny the fact that our childhood is complete since its inception. The music video for "Catch 'Em All" shows you how to party Pokemon style, just in time for that Halloween shindig. The track complements the trippy video, rendered with hints of playfulness, intoxicated slurs, and lots of fun. Take a listen and watch out for all those Pokemon Go character references (Snorlax, Squirtle, and Psyduck even make an appearance).

Gabby Alipe - Visions

Photo by Paolo Ruiz from MCA Music

A listen in and you'd think that "Visions" is the banner single for a new and upcoming artist in the local music scene. But plug your earphones and listen carefully. Now, doesn't that voice sound familiar? It's because it is. Enter Gabby Alipe, who was then Urbandub's frontman. The band, who made its mark in our hearts since '01 and gave us hit after hit, took a breather in 2015 (and broke our hearts in the process). The call to music was too strong to resist for Gabby, however, and he chose to work on his own sound. Visions, his titular track from his first solo album A New Strain, is completely devoid of Urbandub and completely Gab. Gone are the anthemic, loud, in-your-face arrangements. In its place is a much simpler approach, slow placed and anti-climactic even, backed up by hints of R&B and stripped down guitars. With Gabby's clear-cut vocals being the main focus and an entirely different direction from what we're used to, he makes for a strong case in the frontman turned solo artist department. Have a listen here.

Grows - Grounded/Electrocuted

In Grows' "Grounded/Electrocuted", the latest single to drop off of their debut album Go Glow Grows, we are introduced to a sound that boasts of beautiful organized chaos. Kaloy Olavides' vocals soars in chill tones and reserved confidence amidst the stark contrast of his own spunky guitarwork, alongside Bijan Gorospe's melodic bass and Vin Zafra's fuzzy percussion. The result is that of an easy headbanger of a song, perfect for road trips or stuck-in-traffic scenarios. The video, shot and edited by Victor Balanon echoes the same sentiment. In it, snapshots of Manila's busy thoroughfares and alleys serve as the star. The Metro unfolds unto itself, in an artwork featuring illusions and dimensions of the hectic cityscape. The clips distort into a melange of harmony or the lack thereof. The perfect backdrop to Grows' uneasy charm masked in simple melodies and their penchant for elements blending into unison from disharmony. 

Clara Benin - Tila

As if Clara Benin's previous rendition from her best selling 2015 EP Riverchild was not heartwarming to begin with, she returns with a raw and acoustic version of the Side A classic. Benin's further subdued approach, bereft of pizazz and grand reimaginings, makes for a silent stunnerintimate as if she sings the song directly to you. It sounds like a lullaby almost, understated and angelic with waves of nostalgia of the feeling of being in love. Tila is given the MV treatment by Grilled Cheese Studios with Clara Benin in the middle of the woods on a beautiful afternoon, guitar in hand.

Manila Magic - In the Night

We could imagine a bunch of '80s-inspired scenarios with In The Night as the soundtrack. One, a prom night with the track playing in the background as the two leads slow dance and realize they're falling in love with each other. Another, a montage of the happy couple going on several dates, grins and invisible hearts everywhere. And, a more racy scene, late into the night as the boy and the girl break the walls and get into the gradual, loving, throes of intimacy to seal the deal. This is the effect of a collaboration between Zild Benitez and Tim Marquez a.k.a. Manila Magic's debut single. Theirs reflects on the '80sa bygone era where important musical influences and styles had their humble beginnings. Through the neon-colored lens of wistfulness, their aesthetic time warps us back into memory lane, coupled with the right authentic synths. 

Munrö - Take Me

At first listen, the experimental tune is harder to comprehend than most. It's not your usual head-bopping, LSS-inducing piece. But with each subsequent listen, Munrö takes you by the hand and guides you through a pristine and compelling experience. "Take my love wherever you go," the songstress sings in haunting exquisite tones. Soon enough, we are entranced, transfixed in place as her a cappella performance, backed up by minimalist koto and native percussions, transcends into soulful crescendos. Have a listen to her theatrical showcase of a track below.

25 October 2016

How to run a Lifestyle Shop? These Well-Established Local Shops share their Thoughts

Running a local lifestyle store involves a lot of things—business acumen, street smarts, and talent. But in these days, people are starting to ask themselves what brands help define and add value to who they are. In a digital sea of hashtags against the tides of trends that come and go, where does the solid ground lie? What separates the best from the rest? What makes the cream of the crop? We’d like to believe that when it comes to lifestyle stores, the main differentiator is authenticity—staying true, being consistent in its vision—as these stores we’ve interviewed would like to believe as well. We’ve talked to people managing Signet (Menswear), Tenant (Beach and Surf Lifestyle), and Calle (Skate and Street Culture): stores that have made a name for themselves in the metro.

Interview by Lex Celera

Signet - GF3 Shangri-la at the Fort, 30th St., BGC, Taguig City

As the name suggests, Signet is an authority in local menswear that encapsulate the word “gentleman” in the fullest sense of the word. The lifestyle store is big on bespoke—clothes that are fit for the person and made to order. The manager of Signet, Kevin Yapjoco, who we talked to for this interview, also operates the local menswear blog Bespoke Man (bespokemanblog.com).

“We don't use models when we photograph our clothes; they are instead worn by the team.”

How would you describe your shop to someone who's never heard of it?
Signet is a one-stop shop for men. We carry a range of clothing from formal to casual, rugged to resort wear.

What influenced the start of the business?
The founders are inspired by men's stores and tailoring shops in other parts of the world. They want to bring the same experience to the Philippines and price the products accordingly. We try to also match the prices abroad and other stores worldwide. All of the owners have their own style and taste and each of them exudes a certain sense of style.

Can you share to us the brands/products that are available in your shop? How do you curate the selection?
We have over 50 brands in the store. That ranges from suits and jackets, footwear, shirts, umbrellas, braces, neckties, pocket squares, polo shirts, swim shorts, military jackets, Japanese jeans, umbrellas, walking sticks, cuff links, hats and caps, sneakers, and trousers.

We look for brands with a deep heritage, quality craftsmanship and a sense of style. We also want to know where they source their raw materials, who sews and makes the products and where they make it. We also need to talk to the owners of the brands that we carry, we need to know what their direction and emotion are for the brand they're handling. We need to know what kind of machine they use, what threads, how long for them to sew on the collar of a shirt or what kind of leather they use for a shoes' insole. We're looking for brands that make things the way they should be: without taking shortcuts or sacrificing quality.

What distinguishes you from your competitors?
Service. The team is stylish and knowledgeable about all the brands that we carry. We will recommend items based on your personal style and how you want to build your wardrobe. We teach customers how to care for items to prolong their lifespan so they can be enjoyed for a longer period of time.

Can you describe your ideal customer?
The Signet man is one who cares about heritage and craftsmanship. He chooses items that are stylish yet timeless. He dresses appropriately for the occasion. He wants something that cannot be dated. He is someone who isn't into fashion but style.

How much of a deal are trends when it comes to business?
We keep an eye on trends but we don't just blindly follow them. We have our own aesthetic and the brands we carry aren't very trendy either.

Other than your products, what are you focused on in the store that you think is also valuable?
What we'd like to do is bring back the quality of service, client knowledge and personalized service that is lacking from fast fashion and commercialized stores these days. You could say we are old souls.

How important is the product/brand mix of a lifestyle shop?
We try to minimize brands that might overlap with each other. One example is footwear. We carry many brands but each brand is specialized or geared for a certain market. Carmina Shoemaker is for those who are starting to build their wardrobe while Edward Green is for connoisseurs who want the best and are willing to pay more.

Do you think being authentic or keeping it real is necessary for keeping a business? In your opinion, what makes a shop/business authentic?
It's very important and necessary for us. We don't use models when we photograph our clothes; they are instead worn by the team. It's a way to keep it real, so to speak, and that you don't need to be a model to wear our clothes. Customers can meet the artisans we work with and we let our products speak for themselves.

Tenant - 9639 Kamagong St., San Antonio, Makati City

Located in Kamagong in Makati, Tenant is a relatively new lifestyle store that’s all about beach and surf culture. Tenant houses select menswear brands while also offering beverages and snacks as a café. The store was conceptualized by co-founders Anton Lopez, John Esguerra and Mike Te, who have experience in design and fashion after years of collaborations around the globe. We talked with Anton to share to us more about Tenant and his thoughts on lifestyle shops.

“You are who you sell” is I guess is one way to put it.

How would you describe your shop to someone who's never heard of it?
A premium surf and beach lifestyle concept shop and cafe in San Antonio Village. Great staff, good vibes and a relaxed environment.

What influenced you to start the business? How long have you been operating it?
My partners John, Mike and myself have been involved in the clothing industry for many years and have always wished to conceive a concept that was original and new to the Philippines. We felt the timing was right to launch our own brand. The Philippine market is growing so quickly, we wanted to contribute in some small way. We've been open since February 2016.

Can you share to us the brands/products that are available in your shop? How do you curate the selection?
We stock Engineered Garments, Saturdays, Quality Peoples, Mollusk, Hillside, RVCA, Apolis, Converse as well as a wide variety of design and lifestyle books and magazines and some great new brands that are exclusive to Tenant launching soon. We do our best to work with brands that reflect the values and culture we try to represent; premium quality and design, good vibes! We carry the same thoughtful thinking in our cafe which offers a selection of carefully curated sandwiches (custom made for Tenant from down to the freshly baked baguettes, croissants and ingredients, all are handmade) and pastries as well as great wine, beer and cocktails.

What distinguishes you from your competitors?
Well, above all, we're a new brand that's distinctly Filipino. Our brand was conceived, built and made in Manila and the brands we launch are rare to the local marketplace. Integrating Filipino culture into many aspects of the shop, cafe and brand are in motion and we will be sharing these plans and products very soon.

How much of a deal are trends when it comes to business?
We do our best to stock a balanced assortment of product that is in trend, but is at the same time seasonless. Trends and the intent of which the brands you stock choose to participate in trending design is always a tricky part of the retail landscape. It all comes down to trusting that your brand partners deliver product that moves beyond what is 'of the moment' and into products that are relevant past seasonal trends.

If you could go back to the past with what you know right now in handling your business, what advice would you give your past self?
Business is constantly changing. Our neighborhood is constantly changing. It's too soon to know. We are constantly learning and adjusting our selection to suit the local market. Our hope is that we continue to provide product that is uncommon to our customers.

What does the future look like for your store in the next few years? What are your upcoming projects?
We are launching our own collection in the near future. We will also continue to do our best to bring new and unique brands to the Philippines. We have every intention to grow the brand, but to maintain the integrity of embedding, supporting and contributing to new and exciting areas that step outside of the typical mall environment. And our online shop will be launching very soon.

How important is the product/brand mix of a lifestyle shop?
I think it's everything. It's a reflection of one’s taste, who you see your brand/shop sitting next to on a global level. “You are who you sell” is I guess is one way to put it.

Do you think being authentic or keeping it real is necessary for keeping a business? In your opinion, what makes a shop/business authentic?
Regardless of the type of business, I think you're either authentic to yourself or not. Some brands and shops choose to emulate known formulas and some choose to take risks and go on their own path. We can't say what's wrong or right, it's whatever you're after I think.. I can think of many local stores that are far more established than ours that follow the latter path and enjoy great success. However, our belief is that to truly contribute to the local and global dialogue of culture and design, a space needs to offer something new to the city they're in. Our shop and café, from design, to service to brand matrix all ads up to what we think is a reflection of what we believe is a genuine, personal and authentic experience that can only be experienced at Tenant.

Calle - #14 San Guillermo Ave., Brgy. Buting, Pasig City

Taking its name from the Spanish word for “street,” Calle is a skateshop with underground roots and a cult-like following of both old and young heads in the skating scene. Calle recently celebrated their 7th anniversary, and the brand is still going strong, recently launching their own brand of skate wheels, alongside their current stock of apparel and shoes. We caught up with founder and owner, Maylan to talk more about his shop. Featured photos are from the Calle blog.

“We curate the brands that we carry simply by knowing the history of that particular brand, its roots and influence and how it is relevant to the culture we have here. We always see to it that we can actually wear what we sell and not the other way around.”

What events do you hold? What are the most memorable?
We have "Battle at the Highstreet" at BGC Taguig (Game of Skate) and Pusakalye Alley Cat Race annually. Every year is remarkable.

Can you share to us the brands/products that are available in your shop? How do you curate the selection?
Currently we have Vans and Circa for footwear, Benny Gold, Chrome, FTC, God and Famous, Baker, Deathwish, ShakeJunt, Thunder, Venture, Spitfire, Independent, Justice, Symbolic, Black Knight, Psychos, HUF, Volume 4, Brklss, Deadways and Sack It, more will be added soon. We curate the brands that we carry simply by knowing the history of that particular brand, its roots and influence and how it is relevant to the culture we have here. We always see to it that we can actually wear what we sell and not the other way around.

What distinguishes you from your competitors?
We are not in it for the money.

If you could go back to the past with what you know right now in handling your business, what advice would you give your past self?
Don’t do it.

What does the future look like for your store in the next few years?
10 branches and a collab with Vetements.

How important is the product/brand mix of a lifestyle shop?
Surviving this for almost a decade really boils down to how you interact with your customers, and your knowledge with the volatile market specially with a lot of shops opening and mimicking what you are doing. It is really important to have brands that is relevant with the culture, not just because it is popular now it means it can still sell after 10 years.

Do you think being authentic or keeping it real is necessary for keeping a business? In your opinion, what makes a shop/business authentic?
With this kind of scene that we are into you can’t last being fake. Real recognizes real. Look for another market to dwell and hope for the best if you think you can fake it, so I guess keeping it real is a must by any means necessary.

Perspective of Taiwan: A Travel Photo Series by Tristan Tamayo

In line with our purpose to promote the Philippine Creative Culture, we recently opened Purveyr to showcase various amateur and professional photographers' and artists' works. This time we invited Purveyr Magazine's creative head, Tristan Tamayo to share to us his recent travel photo series from Taiwan. He is a full-time sports photographer during the day, and freelance photographer and graphic artist on the side. Last month he visited Taiwan for vacation, where he instantly admired the city. This admiration fueled his perspective of Taiwan, which he clearly expressed through the photo series he made. It portrays the city's clean and calm aesthetic during the day, and its lively and exciting nights. We really liked how Tristan Tamayo's photography style meshed well with the city views and portraits, simple yet substantial. You can follow Tristan Tamayo on Instagram to see more of his works.

You can submit your works to marvin@purveyr.com for a chance to be featured. We're constantly looking for more interesting creators and projects.

Local Menswear Store, Signet collaborates with Unmarked for an Exclusive Footwear Collection

After their move from the heart of Legazpi Village in Makati City to the bustling BGC area, there seems to be no slowing down for the local menswear store, Signet. As purveyors of highly crafted men's clothing and accessories, it is to no question that if they are ever going to produce products, it will be of the same standard of the products they carry in the store. And to those wondering, including us, they've finally dipped their toes to producing their own products with a collaboration with Unmarked. The brand was started by Claribel Pérez and Hugo Fonce in 2011 with the purpose of recovering the best Mexican traditions in handmade footwear. For this capsule collection, Signet and Unmarked kept it refined but light and casual. Footwear designs and silhouettes that you can wear everyday, with quality that's meant to last you a long time. The leather used in all these models are from Horween, a famous Chicago tannery company.

Boondocker Boots in Natural Chromexcel and Vintage Heel

Derby in Peanut Roughout and Vibram 2060 Sole

Suno Boot in Red Dog Roughout and Vibram 2060 Sole

Chukka Boots in Brown Kangaroo and Vibram 1010 Sole

Alvin Sneaker in Soft Ecru Goat Skin

24 October 2016

Serious Studio releases the sequel to their Douché Tote Bag, The Douché Noir

Local design studio Serious Studio is at it again and this time, the Douché is stronger than ever. After the successful launch of the brand’s first edition bag in white, the Douché Noir in the classiest of colors, black, is an inevitable follow-up. In an email correspondence, we spoke with the Serious Studio team to learn more about the team's internal  project — their collaboration with Lynette Jean-Baptiste, the brand's aesthetic, and the overall vibe of the new design.

Could you tell us more about Douché Bags?
SS: We worked with designer Lynette Jean-Baptiste XVIII on the Douché. (Mind the acute accent; it’s "doo-shay.”) It’s FUBU for douchebags — for douchebags, by douchebags. Circle-jerky in a sense, but in a classy, functional way. Very French. If you’ve seen French new wave cinema, you’ll know what we mean.

What is the artistic direction you chose to embark on with the bag?
SS: We’re kind of riding on LJB’s coattails to legitimize the whole thing. Because, as you know, French brands are the fanciest, so it’s only right. If you’ve ever wondered what the essence of the trendy, rotational high fashion ball sac du jour is, that’s what the Douché is supposed to be. Especially the part about being gluten free — you can expect absolutely no flour or wheat content in any of the bags. We’re told that’s especially important for people in high fashion.

What is the vibe that you would want for the people to imbibe with the new Douché Bag design?
SS: There are a lot of ways to be douchey, and the designs are also spare so that you can turn it up any way you want. Streetwear douche is kind of the current zeitgeist, but the bags would not exactly look out of place in the popped-collar prep look or the suit-wearing yuppie.

The Douché Noir tote bags is priced at P666.00, and in limited pieces. Order one now over at their website.

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